Retreats at SI - An Encounter with Self, God and Others
We all know the importance of getting away from the hectic pace of life and finding time to pray, to reflect and to deepen our knowledge and love of ourselves and of God. Our retreat programs provide students with sacred time and space to encounter themselves, their classmates, and God in a context of love.
Since the school's founding, teachers and campus ministers have shared the Ignatian way of praying with our students. Read about each program below and contact SI's Director of Campus Ministry, Sr. Sharon Brannen, FdCC, or Assistant Principal for Formation Chad Evans, for more information.
- Freshman Cura Formation
- Sophomore Retreat
- Kairos Retreat: Junior and Senior Kairos
- Senior Elective Retreats: Coming in 2019-20!!
The Cura Freshmen Formation Program is rooted in the Jesuit ideal of cura personalis, care for the whole person. Cura groups welcome students and support their transition into St. Ignatius. Throughout freshman year, students develop a deeper sense of personal identity and communal belonging in order to grow toward the Grad at Grad.
Philosophy of the Cura Formation Program
The Church's central vision for Catholic education "...aims at the formation of the human person in the pursuit of his [her] ultimate end." Simply stated- education is formation.
‘Formation’ is the process by which a person becomes who they have been called by God to be. The formation process is concerned with the complete human person and, consequently, is driven by a single question: “Who are you becoming?” The SI Cura Program is the intentional, systematic direction of the complete freshmen experience toward the end of developing the whole person, body and soul, and facilitating each student toward the Grad at Grad.
Central to that formation are relationships. Personalization of the formation environment – enabling students to know well, and be known well by at least one adult in their school will lead to a deeper experience. Cura groups will advance achieving personalized growth by building supportive relationships between students and mentors, and among students.
Outcomes of the Cura Program
The program’s primary goal of student growth toward the Grad at Grad is supported by:
- Facilitating a healthy transition to SI
- Creating community with peers and an adult
- Developing an understanding of Ignatian Spirituality
- Promoting wellness and healthy habits
- Engaging in a service experience at St. Anthony Foundation
Overarching Enduring Understandings
- Every student has inherent dignity regardless of background, sexuality, ethnicity, and economic circumstances.
- SI educates the whole person: mind, spirit, body.
- SI values diverse religious backgrounds and experiences.
- The SI community needs their gifts and talents, active participation, and loving care.
- Self-knowledge and self-determination requires ongoing work; high school is an ongoing process of coming to know oneself.
- The Cura program is housed within Campus Ministry, and is directed by a Campus Ministry staff member.
- Every student will be assigned to a group of approximately 10-13 freshmen and an adult leader: SI administrator, teacher or staff person.
- Each group will meet once a week, in for 40 minutes in the first half of the extended resource period (on Monday or Tuesday) throughout the year.
- All Cura groups will participate together in a Community Day in October
- Each Cura group will have a one day experience at St. Anthony Foundation.
A New Retreat!
Our sophomore students will be invited to take a deeper look at who they are becoming during their time at SI. "What are your passions? You gifts? What really moves and inspires you? And... how do you make decisions, and take actions that are authentic to who you are?" These are some of the questions that we take on through activities, games, reflection and sharing.
The retreat is lead by our Senior leadership team along with our faculty. The day begins at 8:15 a.m. in front of our school and continues to the next day, returning to school by 4:30 p.m. Students are excused from classes and activities, but must complete any assignments by arrangement with instructors. Retreats are offered seven times a year and are held at Los Altos Jesuit Retreat Center, Vallambrosa Retreat Center, or San Damiano Retreat Center. The retreat is mandatory for all Sophomores. Students have the opportunity to sign up for the dates that work best with their academic and cocurricular responsibilities.
Kairos retreats are offered to Juniors in their Spring Semester and Seniors in their Fall Semester. There is also an opportunity in June for rising seniors. It is a highlight of the SI experience for many students!
The Kairos Retreat Program has been in existence since 1965. It was originally adapted from the Christian Awakening Program designed by a team of priests, religious, and lay people. They planned and worked on the program for one year under the direction of Rev. Douglas L. Brown of the Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y.. Kairos was modeled after the Cursillo retreat but adapted for teenagers. In 1968, it was been adopted by St. Xavier High School in Louisville through the ministry of Brother Bill Riegel (who worked with the Brooklyn Program), Brother Martin Moran of the Diocese of Richmond, and from Brothers Gerard Boylan, Richard Angarola and Edward Driscoll.
Since the Cursillo movement has roots in Ignatian spirituality, many Jesuits schools eventually incoporated the program into their retreat programs. From St. Xavier in Louisville the program was adapted for Jesuit high schools by faculty from St. Ignatius High School in Chicago, IL including our own Rita Dollard- O'Malley, SI's Director of Adult Spirituality. Several modifications particular to SI's program have been made over the years. It is the opinion of the facilitators of the Kairos program at SI that these changes promote the faith and life of the students at our school and have emerged from the experience of implementing this program. Moreover, more specific Ignatian language and themes have been highlighted in the SI program. Furthermore, student leadership and training has developed extensively since an adaptation of the program was first attempted at SI.